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Being more competitive than their rival Airbus is what has motivated Boeing to reduce their workforce by July. This mainly concerns the US group’s Commercial Airplanes Division, which accounts for more than half the workforce. In wishing to remain competitive against their rival Airbus, Boeing’s vice chairman (and Commercial Airplanes Division president and CEO), Ray Conner, would like to reduce costs, to lower the prices of their aircraft, and sell more.

How many jobs losses does this entail by next summer? Doug Alder, Boeing Spokesperson: "While there is no employment reduction target, the more we can control costs as a whole, the less impact there will be to employment."

Initially, downsizing should involve 4,000 positions, including executives, meaning a 5% reduction in the Commercial Airplanes Division workforce, from 82,000 to 78,000 employees.

At present, no redundancies are envisaged. Boeing is counting on "natural wastage”; i.e.: non-replacement of retiring (2,400) and voluntarily resigning (1,600) employees.

Following this reduction, Boeing will return to their 2006 employee figures, which are far lower still than the 238,000 employees the group had in 1998. To date, Boeing has 5,800 aircraft on their order books. A transitional year for the US group.

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